Teaching and Learning: WFD at the Sharjah Conference

The WFD Vice-President Joseph Murray attended the Sharjah Conference in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on 17 April 2018.

As one of the presenters, Murray discussed the work of the WFD and international human rights work for deaf people around the world. This presentation outlined the implications of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as the application of fundamental human rights for the Deaf Community, specifically the right to sign language in all areas of life. It also highlighted the five things necessary for deaf children to achieve linguistic rights: the right to natural language input from an early age, multilingual education, peer interaction and deaf mentors, families who sign, and the obligation of governments to follow their international human rights obligations.


Murray was also able to interview Sultan Nasir Al Ameri, President the Omani Federation of the Deaf, who is also a TV presenter on Omani television. The Omani Federation of the Deaf has been successful in being able to quickly reach out to parents when their children are identified as deaf. Parents are given a course on sign language, technological options, and information on what it means to be deaf. Emphasis is placed in the fact that deaf people are able to achieve anything, attend university, and can live fulfilling lives in any profession that they choose. The Omani Federation of the Deaf’s facilitation of positive dialogue between the Deaf Community and parents allows parents to receive a holistic understanding of deaf lives and stresses the need for sign language use with their children as early as possible. This collaboration between the Omani Federation of the Deaf and parents is a great example, and also serves as an inspiration for other organisations to collaborate with families in order to see deaf children succeed. 


In order for the WFD to reach out and influence as many countries as possible, donate to the WFD Fighting Fund here.